Some people take dramatic leaps of faith; others wade. He goes with us either way.

Years ago, after my second open mic performance, another artist approached me and said, “I need your book.”

Since I had written just three spoken word pieces at that point, and solely for performance purposes, it never occurred to me that people would want to read them. Books were for novels, memoirs, and traditional poetry, not spoken word.

The more I performed, the more people asked for written copies. I was flattered but dismissive. I figured I would eventually do a spoken word CD to record my work in my voice, but having spent much of my youth with my nose buried in novels, I wanted my first book to be a work of fiction.

Then I started blogging. A cross between journaling and the journalism I studied in undergrad, it was an outlet for my thoughts and opinions. Spoken word’s process required so much of me: rhythm, rhyme, memorization, rehearsing and public speaking. The blog wanted nothing but words, in whatever way they naturally flowed from my brain. We were instant friends.

A year into blogging, a colleague marveled at how much content I was creating. “You have enough for a book,” she said. True, but blogging was for fun. Besides, I still planned to write the great American novel.

That is, until fiction and I parted ways. Fiction, the long-time crush I couldn’t get next to. I finally accepted that I liked it more than it liked me, and ran for the hills with what little of my dignity remained.

My running led me to church for some soul searching. At a women’s Bible study on fear, I was forced to face my trepidation of writing. After straddling the fence between spoken word and blogging long enough to see both peak and plateau, I wondered what was next. My study partner waved off my rambling and repeated what I had been hearing for years: I should publish a book. She then informed the group as well. When they applauded, I knew it was time.

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12 Responses

  1. I Published A Book | Sheryl's Pearls

    […] now the moment we’ve all I’ve been waiting for… Check out my latest post, “A Leap of Faith: I Published a Book,” on my new site (www.sheryleigh.com) to learn about it and my upcoming book launch event (June […]

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  2. Teresa

    I am soooo happy for my Big Sis!!! Not at all surprised by your success. Touched by your vision, hardwork, and now fruition. You deserve it. Cheers to My Sherleigh. Can’t wait to celebrate. Mimosas on me!!!!

    Reply
    • SheryLeigh

      Thanks to my lil sis and big supporter! You’ve been a huge encouragement throughout every step of this journey!

      Reply
  3. Melissa

    I remember that Woman’s Bible Study. Deborah Tillman as leading the study. I believe Mrs Earl was your partner. I’m excited about what God is doing in your life because of your willingness to trust Him. God is able to exceedingly, abundantly above all we can ask or think according to the power working in us! In the words of TDJ…get ready, get ready, get ready

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    • SheryLeigh

      Wow, Melissa! I can’t believe you remember all that. Yes, I was so blessed to have Mrs. Earl as my partner that night. I’m excited too (and nervous lol), but so thankful that God has allowed me to realize this dream. Guess we’ll walk this thing out 😉 Thank you for your encouragement!

      Reply
  4. Kim

    Sheryl,

    So very happy and excited for you! Thanks for being such a great example of overcoming fear. You’ve inspired me to move on my ideas for being creative with food. I know this is the beginning on the journey leading to your greatness and destiny.

    Be well!

    Reply
    • SheryLeigh

      Kim, thanks for your encouragement! Let’s all take this leap together. As I said, He’ll go with us 🙂 Wishing you the best as you keep pushing!

      Reply
  5. Rev. Valentine

    Sheryl, I am so excited for you. I was just looking at the poetry slams that you won at Reid Temple a couple of years back. You are truly anointed, gifted, and kissed by God. I wish you nothing but success and blessings in this book venture and in life. I can’t wait to get my copy:) Blessings.

    Reply
    • SheryLeigh

      Thanks so much for your encouragement and for carving out a place for poetry in the church! Blessings to you as well!

      Reply

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